WESTMONT, Ill. — A public works employee in Westmont died Thursday after being trapped in an underground water main vault for nearly an hour.

At around 11:45 a.m., public safety personnel responded to the intersection of 60th Street and Deming Place on the report of a crisis situation.

It was determined that a public works employee, a man in his 20s, was trapped in a water main vault — which was underwater. They were recovered at around 12:40 p.m. and were found unresponsive.

CPR was administered before the employee was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital. The man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

He has been identified as Matt Heiden and worked for the Village of Westmont since 2019. He was hired as a seasonal employee and recently became a full-time water maintenance worker.

Heiden and his crew were working on repairs in a neighborhood when a water line burst, flooded the street with several feet of water and trapped Heiden in the manhole.

“Public Works employees were on the scene fixing a water main, he was standing up in the hole and they were doing some work and the water line let loose and water started gushing out of the hole,” Westmont fire Chief Steve Riley said.

Riley was the first on the scene and upgraded the call to bring in technical equipment for the rescue.

He said the scene was emotional.

“It’s one of our own employees for the village,” Riley said. “It’s tough. One of our people is stuck and it’s taking a long time to rescue them.”

Officials believe Heiden was caught on something inside the vault and it left him unable to get out on his own.

People who live nearby have been without water throughout the day but they were far more concerned about the tragic accident of a village worker.

“They can take as long as they need with a death like that,” Mark Miano said. “There’s nothing more important than that.”

In a statement, the village said they are supporting Heiden’s family, friends and colleagues.

The incident is under investigation by the Westmont police and OSHA.